There are more than a few parallels in the relationships between Bruce Wayne and his father, Thomas Wayne, and the actor portraying the former, Ben Affleck, and his father, Timothy Affleck. In the comics, the relationship between the Waynes can differ depending on which version you look at. For the purposes of this story, it may be best to look at the versions of Bruce Wayne and Thomas Wayne that would be found when the main version of Bruce Wayne meets his father from the alternate timeline/universe: Flashpoint.
In this version, Bruce Wayne shows many of the same traits Thomas Wayne does. What’s interesting is both their versions of Batman can be very cruel and unforgiving. They both carry deep burdens of regret and allowing that to fuel their actions to better the world they live in. That may be something that is explored on film ironically with Affleck portraying Bruce Wayne/Batman and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who portrayed Thomas Wayne, his father in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, will allegedly play Thomas Wayne/Batman. The film, Flashpoint, will depict this relationship. It’s unknown if it will show their later interactions.
In the adaptation of that story into animation, Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, Thomas Wayne also struggled with alcoholism and needed potential help from the top rehab center in Orange County, California or another rehab treatment center, perhaps closer to Gotham. However, people like the Waynes could end up going to a rehab center out west as one of the around 21 million US citizens that struggle with substance abuse, which is more than the number of those who have different forms of cancer in total. Those statistics come from the US Surgeon General.
As the father and son Wayne both also struggle with things like depression and a focus on the mission ahead of them in their wars on crime, Affleck and his father, Timothy Affleck, also struggle with some of the same issues the Wayne families do. The latter came out and spoke about how his two sons, particularly Ben, have struggled with issues because of the impact Hollywood had on them.
“It has taken a toll on both of my sons,” Affleck said. “Hollywood is a disgusting place. I think that’s been a major factor in Ben’s drinking. You’re kind of forced to develop a persona that is hard to shed and go home to your family. It affects your whole life. I think that’s one of the dangers of the film industry.” Interestingly, the older Affleck says his son, Ben, has struggled with some of the same difficulties he, himself, once did.
“I was a chronic, severe alcoholic for several years,” Affleck stated. “I had to recover, and happily, I did. Ben has always been serious about getting sober. There is no question about that. He wants a balanced life and he is working at it.” With the dissolution of his marriage into divorce, Affleck said that Ben should not dwell too much on it. “In the world outside of the entertainment industry, marriages end all the time,” Affleck stated. “It’s as common as dishwater, it’s nothing to dither about.”
In the area of relationships and marriage, it’s something that the Waynes have not been particularly good at either. When Bruce Wayne lost his parents, he devoted his entire life to his war on crime. Often times, his relationships with women that came into his life such as Selina Kyle/Catwoman or Talia al Ghul took second to fighting criminals and protecting the citizens of Gotham. While Thomas Wayne was initially married, things went badly for him in the Flashpoint timeline/universe when his son was killed by Joe Chill in the alleyway. His wife and Bruce’s mother, Martha, went insane and became the Joker.
The death of her son caused her to struggle with mental difficulties while, in the animated film adaptation of Flashpoint, Thomas Wayne turned to alcoholism and may have needed help from the top rehab center in Orange County, California. Both the father and son Wayne and father and son Affleck seem to be affected by life and have overlapping similarities between the way the former’s fictional stories happen and the all-too-real lives of the Afflecks.
As Ben Affleck’s tenure as Bruce Wayne/Batman continues on, we might be able to see further similarities between the actor behind the mask and the dark knight himself.
About the author: Tommy Zimmer is a writer whose work has appeared online and in print. His work covers a variety of topics, including politics, economics, health and wellness, addiction and recovery, and the entertainment industry.